Lewis didn't know anything about evolution. He didn't understand that what he called "morality" is a fact about human evolution; that we are programmed by evolution and culture to regard certain behaviors of others as acceptable and other behaviors as less so. Once this is understood, Lewis's confusion simply vanishes.I don't see what's pugnacious about it. On the other hand, maybe Groothius also has a policy against bone-headedness, in which case I could see how this might violate the policy.
How does Shallit know that Lewis knew nothing about evolution? Has he read Lewis's books to determine this? That can't be, since no one who has read Lewis's books could say such a ridiculous thing about morality.
But Lewis's statements about evolution were tempered with caution on the grounds that he wasn't a scientist. Shallit clearly has no interest in the similar caution about making forays into philosophy, where he clearly is out of his water.
He did, however, pen this poem:
Lead us, Evolution, lead usIn other words, Evolution (Lewis wryly capitalizes the word to indicate the religious fervor characteristic of its adherents) may be the thing that has brought about the complexity of things, but, by the admission of its own supporters, it has, by its very nature, no teleological principles, and therefore cannot be said to "progress," since progress, by definition, is the continuous movement toward some end.
Up the future’s endless stair:
Chop us, change us, prod us, weed us
For stagnation is despair:
Groping, guessing, yet progressing,
Lead us nobody knows where.
Shallit, of course, thinks just such a thing.
Shallit is a computer scientist. And to someone who only has a hammer, everything looks like a nail. The only question is why Shallit, who thinks morality is just behavior that has been "programmed" into us by evolution and culture, should have any moral objection to Groothius banning him from his blog.
Is it wrong? So what? Some of us have just broken out of Shallit's programmatic moral matrix. Once we have done that, he can have absolutely nothing to say.
And saying nothing would have made a whole lot more sense than what he did say.